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Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison, L.L.P.
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Risks, complexities for insurers impacted by distracted driving

An individual with a background or specialized knowledge in insurance matters might look at the above blog headline and have an instant reaction to it.

In a word, he or she might be underwhelmed. In fact, adverse road outcomes have been progressively tied to motorists’ negligent driving behaviors for years. Inattentive behind-the-wheel behaviors contribute centrally to spiked complexities linked with accident investigation, fault attribution, insurers’ risks/claim-linked liability and additional factors.

Truly, how big of a problem is distracted driving?

Candidly (and sadly), the scourge of distracted driving has been a top-tier roadway nemesis for years already, both in Louisiana and nationally. It certainly took mere moments only from the first sales of cellphones to their use by drivers negotiating their way through traffic. Since then, drivers with one hand on the wheel and the other wrapped around their phone or other mobile device have been a virtual recipe for road disaster.

Is the problem getting markedly worse?

We suspect our readers already know the answer to that question.

And a recent annual in-depth look by insurance industry researchers flatly reinforces the reality that, yes, behind-the-wheel disengagement is a nationwide epidemic that grows daily in its severity.

Travelers Companies just spotlighted key findings from its annual survey on road risks. The research supplies some staggering takeaways that underscore the sheer perils of the road for both negligent and conscientious drivers, as well as their passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Here’s food for thought: Well more than 40% of surveyed motorists say they send emails or texts while driving. Amazingly, more than 20% admit to taking pictures and recording videos. Some get their online shopping done. Legions of others surf the web on social media sites.

Again, those activities occur while driving, during an activity where a lapse in judgment or vigilance can instantly reap a deadly outcome.

Insurers are obviously involved routinely with accident claims involving allegations or clear evidence of driver negligence grounded in behind-the-wheel inattentiveness.

Absent a sea change in American’s collective thinking, new distraction-blocking technologies, tighter regulatory controls and ramped-up enforcement penalties, that reality will seemingly continue unchecked.

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With offices in Lafayette and New Iberia, our lawyers represent clients in state and federal courts throughout Louisiana. Contact us today to schedule your case assessment with one of our experienced attorneys. Email or call us at 337-446-2442 to reach our Lafayette office or call 337-352-2310 to reach our New Iberia office.

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